Coal Production, Consumption Down in 2009
Coal production in the United States dropped by 8.5 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said today. In addition, coal consumption was decreased in 2009 by 10 percent, EIA said.
Why the decrease in coal consumption? EIA suggests that it was part of a broader decrease in electricity generation that resulted from the economic downturn and weather.
The decline in coal consumption during the year was the consequence of the domestic economic conditions combined with the weather in 2009, which resulted in lower demand for electricity. Preliminary data show that total generation in the electric power sector (electric utilities and independent power producers, including useful thermal output) in the U.S. decreased in 2009. Coal-based generation also decreased, resulting in a 104.0 million short ton drop in coal consumed in the electric power sector.